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20121222
20121230
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this country. >> reporter: each pin on this map represents one family dollar store. howard levine is the ceo of that chain. >> tons of growth here. this is probably a thousand-store state. >> reporter: right now he oversees an empire of how many stores? >> right around 7,550. >> reporter: are you sensitive to the charge that you're the ceo of one of the cheap stores? cheap is bad? >> no, somebody called me cheap, i take that as a compliment. that means we're looking for value, we don't overpay for stuff. >> reporter: cheap is working. three dollar chains, family dollar, dollar general, and dollar tree are fortune 500 companies. another chain, 99 cents only, is eyeing real estate on ritzy rodeo drive. >> $119.05. >> reporter: dollar stores have been expanding while the rest of the economy has been receding. >> my friends say i'm miserable, but you must love this economy, and, you know, that's not really the case. we would much prefer a strong economy. when people have jobs, they spend money. we do pretty good in tough times, but we do very well in good times as well. >> reporter: family dolla
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